Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that range from the common cold to much more serious diseases Image Credit: File

Islamabad: Minister of State for Health Dr Zafar Mirza on Saturday contradicted the media reports regarding outbreak of Coronavirus in Pakistan. In a twitter message, he asked for avoiding irresponsible reporting based on assumptions and rumors. He said that irresponsible reporting about outbreak of fatal disease in our country can add miseries of the masses. “A part of media is incorrectly reporting about diagnosis of a first case novel corona virus in Pakistan. We expect responsible reporting by media. Please do not add nation’s anxiety about Coronavirus and should meticulously check facts before reporting,” he said.

The novel coronavirus, which has killed at least 44 people in China, has spread to more countries in the Asia Pacific, with Australia and Malaysia confirming infections.

China on Saturday reported a surge in new and severe cases, with media reports citing chaotic scenes as hospitals in the city of Wuhan turn away unwell people.

Pakistan and Nepal also reported infections, marking the spread to South Asia. US health authorities say they are monitoring more than 60 people for potential illness, while France reported the first cases in Europe.

According to WHO, coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that range from the common cold to much more serious diseases. These diseases can infect both humans and animals. The strain spreading in China is related to two other coronaviruses that have caused major outbreaks in recent years: Middle East respiratory syndrome, also known as MERS, and severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS.